Foundation apprentices at Ayrshire College have completed an “invaluable” team challenge set for them by McLaughlin & Harvey and North Ayrshire Council, as part of their Civil Engineering course.
The first- and second-year apprentices, who are S5 and S6 secondary school pupils studying at Ayrshire College two days a week, were asked to produce a report and a presentation on how they would look to provide sustainable flood protection to Upper Garnock Valley.
Four teams delivered online presentations to a panel of judges from McLaughlin & Harvey, North Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire College on Tuesday 27 April, with the winning team named at a presentation ceremony held over Microsoft Teams two days later.
Subject to what the Covid-19 restrictions will look like this summer, the winning team is set to enjoy a work experience placement with McLaughlin & Harvey as a reward for their hard work. A site visit for all first-year foundation apprentices is also expected to be organised, if possible.
Stuart Millar, the Head of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning at Ayrshire College, was part of the three-person judging panel and he said: “Every team presented to a very high standard, showing they are confident in their subject knowledge. It was a very tight call, with the winning team impressing with their ability to offer thoughts and opinions on things they would have changed about the project, which showed good initiative. I would just like to say a big thank you to North Ayrshire Council and McLaughlin & Harvey for organising this live brief competition for our foundation apprentices. It has obviously been a challenging year for all students and pupils across Scotland, with limitations on what can be offered in a work experience sense. This project has been invaluable in providing the students with a real life look at what a project like this involves.”
Fellow judges Adrian Pollock, Contracts Manager at McLaughlin & Harvey, and Patricia Rowley Flooding Team Leader at North Ayrshire Council, said: “Both McLaughlin & Harvey and North Ayrshire Council are delighted to be working in partnership with Ayrshire College to provide Civil Engineering Foundation Apprentices with insightful and rewarding opportunities to link in with our Project Management Team at our Upper Garnock Flood Protection Scheme. We look forward to continuing to work with Ayrshire College throughout this project, providing students with real insight into the construction industry.”